XCom 2 is out in a few goddamn days and looks really good
a bit conservative perhaps, given that the first new-XCom seemingly revived turn-based strategy singlehandedly while being a little too reigned in relative to the original to feel like a classic in its own right, but it seems like there’s very little that firaxis needs to do to in order to make a phenomenal game – and given that I haven’t loved anything they’ve done since Civ 4 which is over a decade old, I guess that’s saying something.
and the lip service they’re paying to “PC ONLY” is interesting, can’t say I mind having OSX and Linux on launch day
It’s looking pretty good. From all accounts they’ve dramatically changed the core game to encourage an agressive playstyle over the walk-two-steps-every-turn boredom of the reboot. And the base building part has been improved.
I cannot play it. Would have loved a downgraded console version.
this is actually the first thing to get released that will not run on either my old 9800 GT or my PS4 which I’ve actually wanted to play, but I did get a fancy GPU from work for OpenCL stuff recently and I haven’t gotten to properly misappropriate it until now
I’m waiting to find out if the game balance ends up better than the previous game, which had two settings: completely trivial and boring, or we hope you already figured out the metagame so you have a chance of staying competitive when you trigger an event and you’re completely leapfrogged in tech and fall into a slow losing pattern again.
I’m not sure many people realized it, but the highlight of the first game was actually the multiplayer. The single player was salvaged by Long War, but the multiplayer, particularly with the additions afforded by the EW expansion, was brilliant. You don’t have to deal with the obnoxious triggering mechanics from single-player. I have high hopes for this game.
(N.B. Play Xenonauts if you want a good singleplayer modern X-COM experience. Or Long War)
A feature I hope they add is to fast forward enemy movements. It was very frustrating/humiliating when I knew I was going to die a terrible death and had to wait for ages for it to happen because I had to watch the enemy slowly take their turn over and over.
I hope this game improves the other problems with the original game, too, which was close to being really great but instead ended up being merely pretty good.
The game seemed to have trouble with the idea of being designed around any mistake being acceptable in the long term. I think this actually really wrecked my interest in the game because, while tactical combat was interesting, the long-term game wasn’t and it always ended up coming back to ‘whoops, one mistake has now disrupted the schedule beyond repair, ggs.’
Supposedly this new one is more accepting of soldiers not making it, but we’ll see.
I’ve been having a go at Long War! right now it seems…pretty close to the original experience? I’ve had soldiers die and things take longer and all of the percentages are much lower than the original but my approach toward encounters is generally the same I think. I’m only a month in or so but at this point it pretty much seems like just the original experience except longer and with more death? but maybe I haven’t gotten to the point where it really differentiates itself? but maybe I don’t have the patience to get there? not sure yet
maybe it doesn’t help that the enjoyment I derive from tactics games is building a small squad up to the point where they’re small gods in their own right and encounters are super power fantasy-esque manifestations until you hit a crazy difficulty spike, ala final fantasy tactics endgame
Yeah Long War is definitely about building up a large stable of capable soldiers (the fatigue mechanic makes this pretty explicit) so if you like making a tiny team of supergods it’s not really for you. Though to be honest making a tiny team of supergods is precisely why losing just one soldier in vanilla is so crippling, which Long War ameliorates.
When I was playing vanilla, it was really hard to train up enough useful soldiers so that deaths in the mid game didn’t completely torpedo the run. Getting characters levelled up enough to get useful abilities AND have enough health & damage output to survive battles was pretty much impossible beyond a certain point. Maybe playing with that as your focus and primary goal would smooth it out. I dunno if I want to give it yet another try.
Well Long War helps that by being… long. There are many more missions per unit of tech curve, which means there is a lot more XP to go around. There are also things like: missions to trade resources for high-level recruits; a building that starts new recruits as Corporals so at least they have their basic special ability; an equippable item that increases XP; etc. (Don’t remember how much of this stuff is in vanilla, since it’s been so long since I interacted with it.)
Not to say you don’t want a dedicated team of high-level people, of course you want those juicy Master Sergeants. But you have to find a balance, which the game encourages you to do with fatigue. (If you don’t know, in Long War putting a soldier on a mission gives them a “fatigue” timer when they come back; if you send them on another mission before fatigue runs out, they become wounded and must heal, just as if they had actually been wounded.)
If the Eurogamer review is anything to go on, then the only significant change to the game has been that the missions have a timer and there’s now an opportunity to ambush your enemies. They of course gush over anything Xcom, so take the review with more than a few grains of salt.
Not picking on any reviewers in particular, but larger scale structural problems like the ones I have with XCOM don’t tend to get talked about much until the game’s been in player hands for a couple weeks.